Soviet leader Yuri Andropov used his first major ideological article to suggest measured, and carefully managed, reform of the nation's economy. The article, in the Communist Party ideological journal, also marks a further step in a gentle but steady de-Brezhnevization process since the passing of Mr. Andropov's predecessor, reports Monitor correspondent Ned Temko. While Leonid Brezhnev had come gradually to be placed nearly beside Marx and Lenin in the official ideological pantheon, Andropov's article - while by no means denouncing Mr. Brezhnev or renouncing his legacy - omits mention of his name.
The article, like major Andropov speeches since he assumed office, differs far more in tone and style than in substance from later Brezhnev-era policy statements. The stress is on a can-do approach to policy issues. In effect, the article seeks to place in Marxist ideological context Mr. Andropov's calls for tightened economic discipline and organization, hard work, better use of incentives and disincentives, and accelerated technological innovation.